The NEWS (Monrovia)

23 July 2014

Liberia: Oil Blocks Out for Grasp?

Senate President Pro-tempore Gbehnzongar Findley has denied claims that the Liberian Senate received bribe of US$2 million from the Executive Mansion to fast track the ratification of additional four oil blocks in the country.

A group under the banner, "Concern Liberian Citizens" Tuesday petitioned the House of Representatives, urging that body not to ratify any agreement for the sale of additional oil blocks until those ones already ratified impact the lives of the masses. The group said credible information in its position revealed that the Executive Mansion has given US$2 million to the Senate and US$4 million to the House of Representatives to ratify agreement for the sale of blocks 6, 7, 15 and 17 in Liberia.

The head of the group, Henry Costa, told Legislative reporters that instead of ratifying additional oil blocks, the Liberian government should now begin to explore avenue and ensure that the already ratified oil agreements positively impact the living conditions of ordinary citizens.

However, addressing his monthly press briefing Tuesday in Monrovia, Pro-temp Findley denied that the Senate has received money from the Executive to ratify additional oil agreement as claimed by the 'Concern Liberian Citizens'.

He described the group's claims as the work of detractors who are only interested in encouraging instability through false propaganda.

The Senate-Pro-tempore accused businessman Benoni Urey of being the mastermind behind the group's falsehood against the Liberian Senate.

"Well, let me address this in the public manner by saying Mr. Benoni Urey must know that this is a country that we enjoy stability; so for him to support these kinds of groups to bring instability with false information, with lies and you want to be a leader of this country... let him stop that," Pro-tempt Findley alleged.

Findley did not provide detailed information to support his allegation, but said he is confident that Mr. Urey is the supporter of the group, whose intent is to undermine the character of the Senate.

He called on Mr. Urey to stop using the youth to create problem, and noted that if oil blocks are to be sold, it is done by negotiation which is a process that does not begin with the Legislature.

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